Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 - Seeker's Thoughts

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Cherry Blossom Festival 2018

Introduction: - Cherry Blossom Festival 2018

The Indian international cherry blossom festival 2018 celebrates the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan cherry blossoms with several cultural events at Shillong.  The autumn cherry blossom festival is organized by Meghalaya State in India and by the Forest & Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya & Institute of Bio-resources & sustainable development, Government of India, in collaboration with Indian Council for cultural relations.

The aim of the festival is to celebrate the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan cherry blossoms. The Cherry Blossom's tree flowers bloom only for a short period in a year. The festival showcases full pink and white cherry blossoms found all along the roadside of the famous Ward Lake. Alongside, the festival will also showcase the region’s food, wine and crafts in addition to several cultural events.
There are 5,538 species of fauna and about 3,128 species of flowering plants. It accounts for 18% of India’s total floral wealth. Also, Meghalaya is the home to the country’s only two species of true apes.
What so special about 2018 festival?
This year, the opening ceremony also graced by the Japanese Ambassador. Several cultural events showcasing Japanese culture and cuisine are also organized. The festival in a way acted as a channel to deepen and strengthen the connections with Japan and India
Sakura- The Tradition 
The tradition of planting cherry blossoms, also called Sakura, was first begun by Japan. Japan also has been celebrating the Sakura festival from the 3rd century and it continues till today.

Key facts
27 countries across the world including the US, New Zealand, Holland and South Korea, hold cherry blossom festivals and last year India became the 28th. The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival is also unique in the sense that while in other countries the Cherry trees flowers blossom during March-June while the timing in India is different. 

The economic aspect of the Festival 
This festival generates huge employment opportunities and generates a lot of revenue as it attracts lakhs of visitors from across the world. Last year, the festival boosted the local economy of Meghalaya by 300%. The festival is also likely to promote sustainable tourism in the northeast.